Pucon travel tipsBirthdays are for relaxation, so when choosing a spot for my 30th, the hot springs of Pucón, Chile had my name all over it. Set on the shores of Villarica Lake, below a majestic volcano of the same name, the town was a b-day wish come true.


Villarrica Lake Pucon, ChileBackpackers flock here to hike the active Villarica volcano, river raft, and in our case soak in the termas and relax by the lake.


La Casona Pucon ChileStepping it up for the special occasion, we checked into this chic bed and breakfast called La Casona. Converted from a traditional Southern Chilean house in 2006, it felt like being invited to a rich aunt’s house and spoiled for the weekend.


Does peanut butter exist in South America? NO!Though the gift of all birthday gifts was hands down our reunion with peanut butter. Out of ritual, in each previous city Mike and I always arrive at the local super market to cruise the jelly aisle in hopes of finding that crunchy, creamy, backpacker gold but it is always followed by disappointment—until now! Four countries and 72 days into our trip, Pucón had a special shipment from Greenville, Illinois waiting just for me.


Los Pozones Pucon ChileWith our PB&J picnic in hand, we went 20-minutes out of town to Los Pozones Hot Springs. There are a number of fancy spas in the area but we loved this one for its rustic river setting (and unbeatable price–$8 for the day!).


Flowers at Los Pozones Pucon ChileOn our little hike down the hill it was hard not to stop and smell the flowers, something Mike is never shy to do, as long as it involves a photo.


Hot springs at Los Pozones, Pucon, ChileLadders lead right from the charming wooden changing rooms right into the hot pools—very handy in winter, I’m sure.


Hot Springs at Los Pozones in Pucon ChileThe eight pools are sculpted out of the environment with rock walls and pebble bottoms. Each one gets hotter as you move down the hill with the hottest reaching 108 degrees.


Mike Howard and Anne Howard at Los Pozones in Pucon ChileWe enjoyed the pools right up until sunset but we were tempted to stay there for some stargazing. (We also heard it is quiet the party late night).


Ever been to natural hot springs? Which were your favorite?

Downtown Pucon Chile

Pucón Resources

Restaurants: Raices, delicious local Chilean food! We had an unreal seafood stew.
Hotels: La Casona, cozy but sophisticated with a fantastic complimentary breakfast. For truly traditional Pucon, check out the charming Gudenschwager Hotel, built on the lake in 1923.
Adventures: Volcano Villarica. We were in relaxation mode but if we ever go back to Pucón we would take a guided crampon hike up the lava spitting beauty.
Hot Springs: We loved Las Termas, and if you have extra time to make a day trip out to Termas Geometricas is supposed to be magical.
Peanut Butter Dealer: Supermercado Elit Pucón. Stock up now, you may never find Skippy again.


18 thoughts on “Pucón: Hot (Springs) Birthday

  • May 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    looks wonderful .. btw, without peanut butter I never would have made it for over 13,000 miles hitch hiking around the USA! hahhahahaha

  • May 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Happy B-day, little dude.  Keep the great photography coming… some great potential paintings!

  • May 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Nice place to spend your birthday! I can remember your first birthday very clearly and as it’s often mentioned little girls do grow up to be big (and very beautiful) girls very fast.
    The Old Man

  • June 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I think I went to the same hot spring!  Looks familiar, but it was at night and there was snow everywhere.  So cool to see what Pucon looks like in the fall.   Miss you guys!

    • June 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      magic pete! so great to have you along for the ride brother (glad you commented, as that is our number one way of staying in touch, haha). Yeah when is your next trip to Chili? We tried to ski but no mountains below 18,000 feet had snow 😉

  • June 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I went to a very nice natural hot spring in Japan once (I think it was a natural hot spring – Zao Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture, and I liked it. At least, I would be shocking if I didn’t like it.

      • August 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        Yamagata Prefecture is in northern Honshu. Much of Yamagata Prefecture is considered off-the-beaten track, but because Zao Onsen is considered one of the prefecture’s major tourist destinations, it should be relatively easy to reach.


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